2010.07.14 Ghosts or tornados, no dull moments while sleeping

By RICH FOLEY

I saw a ghost recently. Well, maybe I did and maybe I didn’t. I swear I saw one walk across the north end of my bedroom, partially disappear through the east wall, turn and grin at me, then vanish. It wasn’t in the form of any particular person, it was more like one of those Casper-like ones, similar to a Halloween costume.

I have a friend who has an interest in stories like this and she insisted on coming over and checking out the room. She thinks I was having a dream, but I’m quite sure I was at least semi-awake at the time. Besides, shortly after I moved to Fayette, a ceramic coil pot about three feet high shattered during the night. It was sitting in the bedroom in the path the ghost took. My friend wasn’t able to explain that.

She’s right to question if it was a dream, though. I’ve been known to have some odd ones. Usually, there’s some famous person in them I end up interacting with. Some of them are simply weird. A day after her visit, I had another, this time about a tornado.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by having one. After all, I lived through two tornados as a young boy during the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in 1965. The real surprise is that I didn’t have any nightmares at the time.

As is usual in my dreams, this one slices and dices time as it sees fit. It seems to be taking place in the present day as I am my current age. However, I was at the old homestead near Manitou Beach, even though it was torn down years ago. Attached to it was the one-car garage the 1965 tornados destroyed. Unfortunately, I never got to see if the 1964 Plymouth inside it at the time was there or some other vehicle from some other time. My 1979 Mustang, maybe? Or my first car, a 1971 Plymouth Satellite? Or perhaps the Studebaker I was brought home from Addison Hospital in?

And this dream included my mother, who passed away in 1979. That’s one advantage to the randomness of my dream elements. I often get to see long lost relatives. In this one, my mother has been monitoring the radio and we have been having various storm alerts all day. My brother Frank and I have been doing some project in the yard, except for the three or four times Mom has called us in due to reports of imminent doom.

Finally, without any warning, I notice a tornado coming straight for us. I point it out to Frank, but unfortunately, there isn’t time to head for the house. Oddly, this tornado’s funnel comes down to the ground, but it’s only about six inches wide at the bottom. It takes out a rose bush in the side yard and a jagged path of grass as it travels through the back yard and back into the sky. Although it came within ten feet of us, we didn’t feel a thing.

We were looking over the scant damage when I spotted something else in the sky. A beautiful parachute with harness, but no jumper, was floating down to a landing in the field next to the our yard. I was just grabbing it away from the wind gusts threatening to take it aloft again when I heard a strange voice yell, “Get a grip on it!” I did, and turned to see three men running toward me from a van parked nearby.

They explained that they had been chasing the parachute for nearly 100 miles after it had been caught in another tornado and separated from its jumper. I told them I was sorry and asked if they had found the jumper.

One of them laughed and said, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. That twister set him down in a wheat field just as easily as you could ask for. He’s sitting in our van. We’d like to take him to a doctor as a precaution, but he refuses until we recover his parachute. Thanks for grabbing it, we were afraid we’d be on its trail all day. Now we can finally go home.”

So the parachute I figured was going to be part of some gruesome story ended up with a happy ending after all. It’s just the latest in a so far never-ending string of strange dreams. The only certainty seems to be that until I get rid of that nagging need to go to sleep, I’ll keep having more of them.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.